Definitions

from The American HeritageĀ® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A triangular insert, as in the seam of a garment, for added strength or expansion.
  • n. A triangular metal bracket used to strengthen a joist.
  • n. A piece of mail or plate armor protecting the joints in a suit of armor.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A small piece of cloth inserted in a garment, for the purpose of strengthening some part or giving it a tapering enlargement.
  • n. A small piece of mail, providing some protection where two plates of armor are joined, usually at the elbows, under the shoulders, and behind the knees.
  • n. A kind of bracket, or angular piece of iron, fastened in the angles of a structure to give strength or stiffness; esp., the part joining the barrel and the fire box of a locomotive boiler.
  • n. An abatement or mark of dishonor in a coat of arms, resembling a gusset.
  • n. A large flat metal piece wider than the valley to help prevent build-up at the base of the valley, either from debris or ice dam formations.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A small piece of cloth inserted in a garment, for the purpose of strengthening some part or giving it a tapering enlargement.
  • n. Anything resembling a gusset in a garment.
  • n. A small piece of chain mail at the openings of the joints beneath the arms.
  • n. A kind of bracket, or angular piece of iron, fastened in the angles of a structure to give strength or stiffness; esp., the part joining the barrel and the fire box of a locomotive boiler.
  • n. An abatement or mark of dishonor in a coat of arms, resembling a gusset.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A triangular plate or piece of cloth inserted or attached, to protect, strengthen, or fill out some part of a thing; a gore.
  • n. An angular piece of iron or a kind of bracket fastened in the angles of a structure to give strength or stiffness. An angular piece of iron inserted in a boiler, tank, etc., where it changes from a cylindrical to a square form, as at the junction of the barrel and fire-box of a locomotive. A triangular piece of cloth inserted in a garment to strengthen or enlarge some part.
  • n. In heraldry, same as gore, 7.
  • To make with a gusset; insert a gusset into, as a garment.
  • n. In iron shipbuilding, a piece of plate of triangular form reinforcing on one side the junction of a part which meets another angularly, the gusset-plate being approximately normal to the line of the joint between the parts. See cut under bracket, 9 .

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a piece of chain mail covering a place unprotected by armor plate
  • n. a piece of material used to strengthen or enlarge a garment
  • n. a metal plate used to strengthen a joist

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French gousset, perhaps diminutive of gousse, pod, husk.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
French goussetĀ ("armpit, fob"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • "And oh yes, we'll try to have the word "gusset" said at least three times."

    Adrian Margaret Brune: A Tale of Two Sisters: Jill and Faith Soloway, Collaborators, Partners, Emmy Writers

  • Today, the head of the National Transportation Safety board held a news conference to let people know that although the investigation is far from over, the team feels it's very important to point out that they're focusing on what they call the gusset plates.

    CNN Transcript Jan 15, 2008

  • But he wanted to say that the team is focusing on what they call the gusset plates.

    CNN Transcript Jan 15, 2008

  • The Zimmermann version only starts arch-shaping when the gusset is finished.

    Jean's Knitting

  • A gusset is a triangular or diamond-shaped insert added to a garment, for example, in the crotch or underarms, which allows for more ease of movement.

    "Make It Yourself": Home Sewing, Gender, and Culture, 1890-1930

  • So I did a search, and found out that it means gusset, which is "a usually diamond-shaped or triangular insert in a seam...to provide expansion or reinforcement."

    Busy having fun

  • SUSAN ROESGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, what we're finding, Heidi, is as you mentioned The National Transportation Safety Board will hold a news conference later this afternoon, but various sources involved in the investigation say that right now the team is focusing on steel plates called gusset plates that are used to hold the steel beams of a bridge together.

    CNN Transcript Jan 15, 2008

  • CHETRY: The NTSB, it looks like they're saying that this design flaw they're speaking about is the design of steel connecting plates, known as gusset plates.

    CNN Transcript Aug 9, 2007

  • The flap is ribbed, and a detail I particularly liked is the gusset, which is also ribbed.

    Criminy Jickets

  • The so-called gusset plates must bear the weight of the bridge, vehicle traffic, the forces of wind and other factors to keep the steel beam joints intact.

    chicagotribune.com -

Comments

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  • I don't think I've ever heard this word in America, except when watching the British show Coupling.

    July 10, 2009

  • I like "gusset." Also "portion."

    July 9, 2009

  • I can't hear this word anymore without thinking of a scene from "Coupling" in which Jeff tries to pick up a girl and when he finds she doesn't speak English, he takes the opportunity to say some of his favorite words, "gusset" being among them.

    July 8, 2009

  • "I also hate portion. Partly because of the sound, partly because of the implied paucity of the amount. Who wants a portion of pudding? I want a helping or a bowlful."

    July 7, 2009

  • This garnered a number of mentions on the Guardian's "most despised word" discussion (7/7/09). Some detractors, but a spirited defence as well. My favorite sentence from the discussion:

    "The world would be a lot better place if the likes of Peaches Geldof had sturdier gussets."

    Of course, the moist-haters were out in force. Defenestrate came in for some criticism as well.

    wincewords

    July 7, 2009

  • "From the sublime to the ridiculous is but a step. Pyjamas, let us say? Or stockingette gusseted knickers, closed?" Joyce, Ulysses, 15

    January 1, 2008